Wednesday, September 21, 2011

RedBack Where I Belong

Latrodectus Hasselti, or the Australian Redback Spider, normally does not come out during the day, preferring to hide in small crevices close to the ground.  Since we have been getting a lot of rain the last few days (this being towards the end of the Australian winter and Perth's wet season), I hypothesize that this small-ish specimen has been temporarily flooded out of her usual abode.  This provides you and me with a very rare opportunity!

There it was, up close, not moving, with the remains of a recent meal nearby, and with scarcely a thought of springing suddenly onto my face and biting my nose.  This doesn't happen very often.

On Monday, I got out the Nikon, grabbed the small Tripod and waited for the sun to come out.

On Wednesday, the sun came out for a few moments.  And here are the results:

Latrodectus Hasselti, Australian Redback Spider
A crevice of a brick wall isn't the greatest place to try to hide, but it might have gotten away with it had it not been right next to the front door of my house where I had to nervously edge past every time I came or went.  But it's still far better than the time I shared a shower with one of these creatures dangling by a single strand of web inches from my unclothed torso.

My reaction then was to immediately and decisively drop the soap and say, "WTF?  Are you KIDDING me?"

See, that's what the experts say you're supposed to do.

As a reward for posing so obligingly for these photos, I generously provided this creature with a lifetime supply of imiprothrin (0.7 g/kg) and cypermethrin (2.0 g/kg) in aerosol form.  That's only about one half-second squirt, seeing as how its lifetime was to be just 45 more seconds.

1 comment:

  1. Redbacks have such tiny fangs they are not really much of a threat to adults humans; just squash them under your thumb. However one of their favourite hiding places is under the seats of "long drop" dunnies where they can get at the softer, thinnner skin...